Osteomyelitis is one of the most feared sequelae of diabetic foot ulceration, which often leads to lower-extremity amputation and disability. Early diagnosis of osteomyelitis increases the likelihood of successful treatment and may limit the amount of bone resected, preserving ambulatory function. Although a variety of techniques exist for imaging the diabetic foot, standard radiography is still the only in-office imaging modality used today. However, radiographs lack sensitivity and specificity, making it difficult to diagnose bone infection at its early stages. In this report, we describe our initial experience with a cone beam computed tomography (CBCT)–based device, which may serve as an accurate and readily available tool for early diagnosis of osteomyelitis in a patient with diabetes. Two patients with infected diabetic foot ulcers were evaluated for osteomyelitis using radiography and CBCT. Positive imaging findings were confirmed by bone biopsy. In both patients, CBCT captured early osteolytic changes that were not apparent on radiographs, leading to early surgical intervention and successful treatment. The CBCT was helpful in facilitating detection and early clinical intervention for osteomyelitis in two diabetic patients with foot ulcers. These results are encouraging and warrant future evaluation.
This study describes the technique for decompression of the intermetatarsal nerve in Morton's neuroma by ultrasound-guided surgical resection of the transverse intermetatarsal ligament. This technique is based on the premise that Morton's neuroma is primarily a nerve entrapment disease. As with other ultrasound-guided procedures, we believe that this technique is less traumatic, allowing earlier return to normal activity, with less patient discomfort than with traditional surgical techniques.
We performed a pilot study on 20 cadavers to ensure that the technique was safe and effective. No neurovascular damage was observed in any of the specimens. In the second phase, ultrasound-guided release of the transverse intermetatarsal ligament was performed on 56 patients through one small (1- to 2-mm) portal using local anesthesia and outpatient surgery.
Of the 56 participants, 54 showed significant improvement and two did not improve, requiring further surgery (neurectomy). The postoperative wound was very small (1–2 mm). There were no cases of anesthesia of the interdigital space, and there were no infections.
The ultrasound-guided decompression of intermetatarsal nerve technique for Morton's neuroma by releasing the transverse intermetatarsal ligament is a safe, simple method with minimal morbidity, rapid recovery, and potential advantages over other surgical techniques. Surgical complications are minimal, but it is essential to establish a good indication because other biomechanical alterations to the foot can influence the functional outcome.
Diabetic foot osteomyelitis is common and causes substantial morbidity, including major amputations, yet the optimal treatment approach is unclear. We evaluated an approach to limb salvage that combines early surgical debridement or limited amputation with antimicrobial therapy.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study of patients treated between May 1, 2005, and May 31, 2007. The primary end point was cure, defined as not requiring further treatment for osteomyelitis of the affected limb. The secondary end point was limb salvage, defined as not requiring a below-the-knee amputation or a more proximal amputation.
Fifty patients with diabetic foot osteomyelitis met the study criteria. Initial surgical management included local amputation in 43 patients (86%) and debridement without amputation in seven (14%). Most infections (n = 30; 60%) were polymicrobial, and Staphylococcus aureus was the most common pathogen (n = 23; 46%). Parenteral antibiotics were used in 45 patients (90%). Patients who had pathologic evidence of osteomyelitis at the surgical margin received therapy for a median of 43 days (interquartile range [IQR], 36–56 days), whereas those without evidence of residual osteomyelitis received therapy for a median of 19 days (IQR, 13–40 days). Overall, 32 patients (64%) were considered cured after a median follow-up of 26 months (IQR, 12–38 months). Fifteen of 18 patients (83%) who failed initial therapy were treated again with limb-sparing surgery. Limb salvage was achieved in 47 patients (94%), with only three patients (6%) requiring below-the-knee amputation.
In patients with diabetic foot osteomyelitis, surgical debridement or limited amputation plus antimicrobial therapy is effective at achieving clinical cure and limb salvage. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 102(4): 273–277, 2012)
Background: Ultraviolet (UV)-A therapy is a simple, inexpensive, and effective modality for wound healing, with tremendous potential to improve healing and reduce clinical infections in a number of clinical settings. To date, application of UV-A relies on bulky and hard-to-dose lamps that provide inconsistent therapy, thus making it difficult to apply therapy that is appropriate for the patient.
Methods: This study was designed to test the effectiveness of a novel wound therapy device that combines UV-A with traditional negative-pressure wound therapy (NPWT) to promote wound healing. Furthermore, we tested the ability of fiberoptic UV-A delivery to inhibit bacterial proliferation. Finally, we assayed the level of DNA damage that results from UV-A as compared to established UV-C therapies. Wound healing studies were performed in a porcine model using an articulated therapy arm that allows for continued therapy administration over an extended time course. Negative-pressure wound therapy was administered alone or with UV-A fiberoptic therapy for 2 weeks. Dressings were changed twice a week, at which time wound area was assessed.
Results: Data demonstrate that UV-A with NPWT treatment of wounds results in greater healing than NPWT alone. Using the same therapy device, we demonstrate that exposure of Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa to fiberoptic UV-A results in decreased colony area and number of both bacterial strains. Finally, we show that UV-A induces minimal DNA damage in human fibroblasts and no more DNA damage in wound tissue as compare to intact skin.
Conclusions: These data demonstrate that UV-A can decrease bacterial proliferation and promote wound healing when coupled with NPWT.
Reconstruction of large bone defects of the metatarsals, whether resulting from trauma, infection, or a neoplastic process, can be especially challenging when attempting to maintain an anatomical parabola and basic biomechanical stability of the forefoot. We present the case of a 42-year-old man with no significant medical history who presented to the emergency department following a severe lawnmower injury to the left forefoot resulting in a large degloving type injury along the medial aspect of the left first ray extending to the level of the medial malleolus. The patient underwent emergent debridement with application of antibiotic bone cement, external fixation, and a negative-pressure dressing. He was subsequently treated with split-thickness skin graft and iliac crest tricortical autograft using a locking plate construct for reconstruction of the distal first ray. Although the patient failed to advance to radiographic osseous union, clinically there was no motion at the attempted fusion site and no pain with ambulation, suggestive of a pseudoarthrosis. The patient has since progressed to full nonpainful weightbearing in regular shoes and has returned to normal activities of daily living. The patient returned to his preinjury level of work and has had complete resolution of all wounds including his split-thickness skin graft donor site. This case shows the potential efficacy of the Masquelet technique for spanning significant traumatic bone defects of the metatarsals involving complete loss of the metatarsophalangeal joint.
The efficacy of concentrated autologous platelet-derived growth factors in the healing and closure of chronic lower-extremity wounds was evaluated in 24 patients with 33 lower-extremity wounds treated previously for at least 6 months using traditional methods. Surgical wound debridement was performed to convert chronic ulcers into acute wounds. Concentrated autologous platelet-derived growth factors and thrombin were applied to the wound bases and protected with a nonadhering compression dressing that remained intact for 7 days. Wounds were evaluated and the concentrate was reapplied every 2 weeks. Wound closure and complete epithelialization was achieved in 20 wounds. Seventy-five percent or greater wound closure was obtained in three wounds, 50% to 74% closure in three wounds, and 25% to 49% closure in two wounds. Five wounds displayed no improvement. Mean time to complete closure was 11.15 weeks. The application of concentrated autologous platelet-derived growth factors and thrombin resulted in substantial wound healing and wound-diameter reduction. This technique constitutes a safe and effective treatment option and avoids lengthy treatment periods that increase the potential for infection. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 96(6): 482–488, 2006)
In this study, we aimed to evaluate the potential use of a 3-phase bone scintigraphy method to determine the level of amputation on treatment cost, morbidity and mortality, reamputation rates, and the duration of hospitalization in diabetic foot.
Thirty patients who were admitted to our clinic between September 2008 and July 2009, with diabetic foot were included. All patients were evaluated according to age, gender, diabetes duration, 3-phase bone scintigraphy, Doppler ultrasound, amputation/reamputation levels, and hospitalization periods. Patients underwent 3-phase bone scintigraphy using technetium-99m methylene diphosphonate, and the most distal site of the region displaying perfusion during the perfusion and early blood flow phase was marked as the amputation level. Amputation level was determined by 3-phase bone scintigraphy, Doppler ultrasound, and inspection of the infection-free clear region during surgery.
The amputation levels of the patients were as follows: finger in six (20%), ray amputation in five (16.6%), transmetatarsal in one (3.3%), Lisfranc in two (6.6%), Chopart in seven (23.3%), Syme in one (3.3%), below-the-knee in six (20%), above the knee in one (3.3%), knee disarticulation in one (3.3%), and two patients underwent amputation at other centers. After primary amputation, reamputation was performed on seven patients, and one patient was treated with debridement for wound site problems. No mortality was encountered during study.
We conclude that 3-phase bone scintigraphy prior to surgery could be a useful method to determine the amputation level in a diabetic foot. We conclude that further, comparative, more comprehensive, long-term, and controlled studies are required.
Background: Plantar first metatarsal ulcerations pose a difficult challenge to clinicians. Etiologies vary and include first metatarsal declination, cavus foot deformity, equinus contracture, and hallux limitus/rigidus. Our pragmatic, sequential approach to the multiple contributing etiologies of increased plantar pressure sub–first metatarsal can be addressed through minimal skin incisions.
Methods: A retrospective review was performed for patients with surgically treated preulcerations or ulcerations sub–first metatarsal head. All of the patients underwent a dorsiflexory wedge osteotomy, and the need for each additional procedure was independently assessed. Equinus contracture was treated with Achilles tendon lengthening, cavovarus deformity was mitigated with Steindler stripping, and plantarflexed first ray was treated with dorsiflexory wedge osteotomy.
Results: Eight patients underwent our pragmatic, sequential approach for increased plantar pressure sub–first metatarsal, four with preoperative ulcerations and four with preoperative hyperkeratotic preulcerative lesions. The preoperative ulcerations were present for an average of 25.43 weeks (range, 6.00–72.86 weeks), with an average size of 0.19 cm3 (median, 0.04 cm3). Procedure breakdown was as follows: eight first metatarsal osteotomies, four Achilles tendon lengthenings, and six Steindler strippings. Postoperatively, all eight patients returned to full ambulation, and the four ulcerations healed at an average of 24 days (range, 15–38 days). New ulceration occurred in one patient, and postoperative infection occurred in one patient. There were no ulceration recurrences, dehiscence of surgical sites, or minor or major amputations.
Conclusions: The outcomes in patients surgically treated for increased plantar first metatarsal head pressure were evaluated. This case series demonstrates that our pragmatic, sequential approach yields positive results. In diabetic or high-risk patients, it is our treatment algorithm of choice for increased plantar first metatarsal pressure.
Since 2006 there have been increased reports of severe agranulocytosis and vasculitis associated with levamisole use. Historically, levamisole was an immunomodulatory agent used in various cancer treatments in the United States. Currently the drug is used as an antihelminthic veterinary medication, but it is also used as an additive in freebase cocaine. There are multiple reports of levamisole-induced vasculitis in the head and neck but limited reported cases in the lower extremities. This article describes a 60-year-old woman who presented to the emergency department with multiple painful lower-extremity ulcerations.
Radiographs, laboratory studies, and punch biopsy were performed. Physical examination findings and laboratory results were negative for signs of infection. Treatment included local wound care and education on cocaine cessation, and the patient was transferred to a skilled nursing facility. Her continued use of cocaine, however, prevented her ulcers from healing.
Local wound care and cocaine cessation is the optimal treatment for levamisole-induced lesions. With the increase in the number of patients with levamisole-induced vasculitis, podiatric physicians and surgeons would benefit from the immediate identification of these ulcerations, as their appearance alone can be distinct and pathognomonic. Early identification of levamisole-induced ulcers is important for favorable treatment outcomes. A complete medical and social history is necessary for physicians to treat these lesions with local wound care and provide therapy for patients with addictions.
We investigated the validity of probe-to-bone testing in the diagnosis of osteomyelitis in a selected subgroup of patients clinically suspected of having diabetic foot osteomyelitis.
Between January 1, 2007, and December 31, 2008, inpatients and outpatients with a diabetic foot ulcer were prospectively evaluated, and those having a clinical diagnosis of foot infection and at least one of the osteomyelitis clinical suspicion criteria were consecutively included in this study.
Sixty-five patients met the inclusion criteria and were prospectively enrolled in the study. Forty-nine patients (75.4%) were hospitalized, and the remaining 16 (24.6%) were followed as outpatients. Osteomyelitis was diagnosed in 39 patients (60.0%). Probe-to-bone test results were positive in 30 patients (46.1%). The positive predictive value for the probe-to-bone test was fairly high (87%), but the negative predictive value was only 62%. The sensitivity and specificity of the test were 66% and 84%, respectively. White blood cell counts and mean C-reactive protein levels did not statistically significantly differ between groups. However, erythrocyte sedimentation rates greater than 70 mm/h reached statistical significance between groups. Wound area and depth were not found to be statistically significantly different between groups.
Positive probe-to-bone test results and erythrocyte sedimentation rates greater than 70 mm/h provide some support for the diagnosis of diabetic foot osteomyelitis, but it is not strong; magnetic resonance imaging or bone biopsy will probably be required in cases of doubt. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 102(5): 369–373, 2012)